Academic Anxiety: Paranoia on Campus

May 05, 2011

College students are often confronted with high academic expectations that may lead to anxiety and stress. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to reduce anxiety and paranoia while in college.

academic anxiety

Learn How to Cope

Stress and anxiety are normal among people from all walks of life. As a college student, it's important to master some coping mechanisms now - anxiety management strategies will likely prove beneficial long after graduation.

Connect With Friends and Family

One of the best outlets for exorcizing paranoia and anxiety is spending quality time with friends and family. If you live close to home, visit once in a while and share your feelings with loved ones. If your school is far from where you grew up, or from your hometown friends attending other colleges, don't shy away from picking up the phone. Friends and family may have the advice you need to break through mounting anxiety and paranoia.

Take Care of Yourself

Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are surefire ways to reduce anxiety. Your campus probably has a gym, and there's a good chance you can attend yoga or pilates sessions as well - get involved! In addition, get enough sleep each night, and avoid excessive drinking. Along those same lines, drug use will only aggravate feelings of anxiety and paranoia, so steer clear.

Set Goals You Can Achieve

As a college student, particularly as a freshman, you might find yourself overwhelmed by schoolwork. College is an important time to master the art of setting goals, and writing down your long- and short-term goals can help you visualize the process of achievement. If you want to get an A on your cultural studies paper this semester, write it down. Focus on the positive, and set realistic goals for yourself; far-fetched plans, like graduating in seven semesters, may not be attainable.

Try New Things

Breaking your typical routine can be a surprisingly effective way to manage anxiety and stress. While routines are certainly important, particularly when it comes to studying and attending class, too much routinization can be suffocating. If you always visit the same cafe for lunch, try a new place. Similarly, consider heading off campus for the weekend to clear your head, or volunteer with a group on campus or in town.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, there's just no way to manage anxiety and paranoia on your own. Professional counselors and therapists are trained to help individuals cope with these feelings, so why not make an appointment? Most colleges have emotional and mental health counselors on campus, and if not, the surrounding area almost certainly will. Seeking the outside opinion of a professional is a great way to gain fresh perspective on your problems.

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